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Bitcoin utilizes peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks; managing transactions and the issuing of bitcoins is performed collectively by the network. Bitcoin is open-source; its design is public, nobody owns or controls Bitcoin and everyone can take part. Through many of its unique properties, Bitcoin allows exciting uses that could not be covered by any preceding payment system. .

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Bitcoin () is a cryptocurrency, a form of electronic money. It is a decentralized digital currency with no central bank or single administrator which can be sent from user-to-user on the peer reviewed bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries.7

Transactions are confirmed by network nodes through cryptography and recorded in a public dispersed ledger called a blockchain. Bitcoin was invented by an unknown person or group of individuals using the name Satoshi Nakamoto9 and released as open-source applications in 2009.10 Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as mining.

Research generated by the University of Cambridge estimates that in 2017, there were 2.9 to 5.8 million unique users using a cryptocurrency wallet, most of them using bitcoin.12.

Bitcoin has been criticized because of its use in illegal transactions, its own high electricity consumption, price volatility, thefts from exchanges, and also the possibility that bitcoin is an economic bubble.13 Bitcoin has also been utilized as an investment, although several regulatory agencies have issued investor alerts about bitcoin.14

The domain name"bitcoin.org" was registered on 18 August 2008.15 On 31 October 2008, a link to a paper authored by Satoshi Nakamoto titled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System5 was submitted to some cryptography mailing list.16 Nakamoto implemented the bitcoin software as open-source code and released it in January 2009.171810 Nakamoto's identity remains unknown.9.

In January 2009, the bitcoin network was created when Nakamoto mined the first block of this chain, known as the genesis block.1920 Embedded in the coinbase of this block was the following text:"The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second This Site bailout for banks. "10 This note has been interpreted as both a timestamp and a comment on the instability brought on by fractional-reserve banking.21:18.

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The receiver of the first bitcoin transaction was cypherpunk Hal Finney, that created the very first reusable proof-of-work system (RPOW) in 2004.22 Finney downloaded the bitcoin software on its release , and on 12 January 2009 obtained ten bitcoins out of Nakamoto.2324 Other early cypherpunk fans were creators of bitcoin predecessors: Wei Dai, founder of b-money, and Nick Szabo, founder of little golden.25 In 2010, the first known business transaction using bitcoin occurred when developer Laszlo Hanyecz bought two Papa John's pizzas for 10,000 bitcoin.26.

Nakamoto is estimated to have mined one million bitcoins27 before disappearing in 2010, when he handed the network alert key and control of this code over Gavin Andresen. Andresen later became lead developer at the Bitcoin Foundation.2829 Andresen then sought to decentralize control. This left opportunity for controversy to grow over the future development course of bitcoin.3029.

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After early"proof-of-concept" transactions, the first significant consumers of bitcoin were black markets, such as Silk Road. During its 30 months of existence, internet beginning in February 2011, Silk Road exclusively accepted bitcoins as payment, transacting 9.9 million in bitcoins, worth about $214 million.31:222

In 2011, the price started at $0.30 each bitcoin, growing to $5.27 for year. The cost rose to $31.50 on 8 June. Within a month the cost fell to go to the website $11.00. The next month it dropped to $7.80, and in another month to $4.77.32

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Litecoin, an early bitcoin spin-off or altcoin, appeared in October 2011.33 Many altcoins have been made since then.34

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In 2012, bitcoin prices started at $5.27 growing to $13.30 for its calendar year.32 By 9 January the price had risen to $7.38, but then crashed by 49 percent to $3.80 within the next 16 days. The cost then climbed to $16.41 on 17 August, but fell by 57% to $7.10 over the next 3 days.35.

In March 2013 that the blockchain temporarily split into two independent chains with different rules. The 2 blockchains operated simultaneously for six hours, each with its own version of the transaction history. Normal operation was revived when the majority of the network downgraded to version 0.7 of their bitcoin software.37 The Mt.

Gox experienced processing delays due to insufficient capacity44 resulting in the bitcoin cost dropping from $266 to $76 before returning to $160 within six hours.45 The bitcoin cost rose to $259 on 10 April, but then dropped by 83 percent to $45 within the next three times.35 On 15 May 2013, US government seized accounts connected with Mt.

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